The Buddy Scheme – Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

The Buddy Scheme – Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

What is the Buddy Scheme?

The Buddy Scheme is a learning opportunity for students in any discipline to learn from lived or living experience of mental health.

The scheme…

  • Seeks to empower both service users and our future healthcare workers by increasing understanding of mental health through true partnership-based work and education.
  • Gives students an opportunity to engage with an identified service user who acts as a ‘Buddy’ in a series of structured meetings.
  • Gives students an opportunity to learn from carers, gaining insight into their experience.
  • Encourages students to enquire with sensitivity and respect about service user and carer experiences of living with mental illness within the context of family, work and the wider community.


Find out more about the scheme here

Why do we run the Buddy Scheme?

The scheme offers students a unique insight into mental health, encouraging empathy and compassion whilst allowing them to develop key skills, helping to ensure that the education of our future practitioners is underpinned by the experience of patients and carers, and ultimately improving services.

It is an award-winning, innovative educational method designed to enhance the practice of health and social care students and trainee medical professionals. The scheme has also been well evaluated and is gaining recognition from other institutions and professional bodies.

The Buddy Scheme today.

The Buddy Scheme is currently delivered online via Microsoft Teams for therapy students, including occupational therapy, trainee psychological wellbeing practitioners and mental health nursing students.

How can I take part?

You would need to register as an EPUT volunteer to take part in the scheme, find out more details here.

If you would like to join the Buddy Scheme, or for more information, please contact Christine Cantello at

Jamie Langstone